Paxton Founder Tony Ratcliffe Retires – Passes the Reins to His Son
Thirty-eight years after founding Paxton, Tony Ratcliffe, group chairman of technology manufacturer Paxton Access Ltd., is stepping down. His son, Sholto Ratcliffe will take on the role, continuing Paxton’s international journey and his father’s legacy.
Tony Ratcliffe, 73, is a British inventor and successful entrepreneur. He is retiring from his role of group chair at Paxton. This comes after nearly four decades overseeing the company's growth from a small enterprise launching the humble TOUCHLOCK keypad in 1985, to a multi-million-dollar international business that now exports to more than 60 countries worldwide and secures over 30,000 buildings annually.
“With Paxton, I have achieved more than I ever thought I could. This is simply because of the challenges and the learning I have gone through. I hope that every employee can do what I have done and follow that path, which is to be challenged, to learn, and to get there in the end,” Ratcliffe said. “The future for Paxton is so exciting, and with the new generation of people coming through, I think there are no limits for the company.”
Business as Usual
Tony’s eldest son, Sholto is taking over his father's long-standing role as non-executive group chair of Paxton. The company will continue to be led by Paxton’s CEO Adam Stroud who has been with the manufacturer for more than 25 years. Sholto has been working alongside Tony and Adam for the past nine years in preparation for this transition. In addition to his role as non-executive group chair of Paxton, Sholto runs his own recording studio in London, where he balances both the technical and business aspect of the studio.
“Sometimes when the founder of a successful company retires, its future becomes uncertain. It may be sold, restructured, or passed to multiple factions of shareholders,” Sholto Paxton said. “My job is to remove that uncertainty in the transition between generations and beyond, allowing the Paxton team to work safely in the knowledge that the company is not going to disappear.”
“One of the major benefits of having secure, uncomplicated company ownership is that we are always able to focus on making decisions for the best long-term outcome,” Stroud said.
Sholto added, “This means we can focus on the important things, like making world-class products.”
Over the last 12-months, Paxton has beaten all previous production records in their manufacturing facility based in Eastbourne, Sussex. This is due to a rise in customer demand and significant investment into new solutions, which are developed at the Paxton Technology Centre.
The Paxton Technology Centre is based next to their UK head offices, in Brighton Sussex. Paxton’s Brighton campus is currently going through an expansion as the company is refurbishing another building that they have recently acquired, the Paxton Electronics Centre. The new building has been acquired to accommodate an additional electronics manufacturing facility so Paxton can meet their expected growth over the next decade.
“The plans that we have for the Brighton campus are going to provide us with a world-class facility, and there will be much more beyond that. Paxton has a bright future and we are well positioned in a rapidly growing industry,” Sholto Paxton said.